Because the Chicago Bears have a playoff game on Sunday, injuries that occurred in the regular-season finale can’t go on the back-burner.
Unfortunately, the Bears have two big ones they’ll be working through between now and Sunday afternoon’s kick-off:
#Bears coach Matt Nagy said he'll provide more injury info on Roquan Smith and Darnell Mooney on Wednesday.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) January 4, 2021
Linebacker Roquan Smith (elbow) and receiver Darnell Mooney (ankle) suffered injuries that took them out of the team’s Week 17 loss to the Packers. And according to Head Coach Matt Nagy, an update isn’t expected regarding either player’s injury or pending status until Wednesday. The Bears are obviously working through things in hopes that both can play on Sunday. But that there isn’t good news right now feels ominous.
Mooney was the team’s leading receiver (11 catches, 93 yards, 13 targets) on Sunday despite the ankle injury limiting him to just 60 percent of the offense’s snaps. Smith was a Pro Bowl snub who has played at an All-Pro level this season. That the Packers immediately targeted Smith’s replacement upon his departure shows how important he is to the defense.
Meanwhile, it’s more of the same for rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson:
Bears CB Jaylon Johnson is day to day, per Matt Nagy.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) January 4, 2021
The Bears missed Johnson’s presence in trying to cover Davante Adams yesterday. And frankly, they’ve been missing Johnson since suffering a right shoulder injury in Week 13. Should Johnson remain out of action, fellow rookie Kindle Vildor will presumably take on starter’s reps again.
Beating the Saints in the SuperDome was always going to be tough. But doing so with three key starters whose injury status is in the air makes it tougher.